Sunday, April 29, 2007

Search for Longspurs

April 29, 2007

Charlie Williams and I went searching for longspurs.

It took a while, but we finally found 2 Chestnut-collared Longspurs at the field southeast of Hwy 85 and Weld County Road 114. We had to hike to the windmill and did not find CCLO until we returned by walking directly north to CR 114.

McCown's Longspurs were easily found along CR 94, east of CR 65. A Mountain Plover was observed on the ridge southeast of Hwy 14 and CR 51. A Burrowing Owl was seen from the Dyers Ranch driveway (0.7 miles east of same intersection).

Crow Valley Campground was slow. Charles did find a Black-and-White Warbler north of the old farm implements at the northwest corner. No owls could be found today.

Birding Around Denver

April 28, 2007

This morning we drove up to Genesee Mountain Park (Jefferson). Four male and one female Williamson's Sapsuckers were relocated. Two of the males were at the top near the flag pole; the rest were observed around the group picnic area.

We also found Pine Siskins, Red Crossbills, Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Mountain Chickadees, American Crows, Common Ravens, and Townsend's Solitaires.

Next we headed over to Wheat Ridge Greenbelt (Jefferson). The previously reported Northern Parula was not relocated. We did see 1 Green tailed Towhee, several White crowned Sparrows, and 9 Yellow rumped Warblers.

Rebecca Kosten and I birded several locations late Saturday afternoon.

Along the DIA Owl Loop (Adams) we found 9 Burrowing Owls at the location 3.4 miles east of Tower Road and 96th Avenue. Another 7+ Burrowing Owls were counted at the Powhaton Road and 128th avenue site.

Barr Lake was slow. We did see 5 Green tailed Towhee, 11 Downy Woodpeckers, 8 Yellow rumped Warblers, 1 Lincoln's Sparrow, and 1 Orange crowned Sparrow along a hike between mile marker 9.0 (visitor center footbridge) and mm 7.5 (boat ramp).

The Great Horned Owls nesting at mm 8.0 have two youngins now!

Our birding day ended at Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). The road is still flooded where Cherry Creek crosses it; as a result there is no direct route from east to west side. Not much was found on the east side. On the west side, we did see 4 Marbled Godwits on the wooden poles around the southwest marina. A Willet and Killdeer walked the shoreline near the gull winged picnic tables. Four Great Egrets stood on the rocks below the dam (about 100 yards north of the southwest marina). We did not relocate the previously reported Townsend's and Orange-crowned Warblers along the Lake Loop.

Another Grouse Trip

April 17 to 27, 2007

This grouse trip was much like last week's. Weather was a little better and warmer. The three birders were from Virginia Tech and had to deal with the tragedy that happened to their friends on the before this trip. It definitely put a damper on the trip.

Additions for this trip:

Long-billed Curlew (4/20) along Baca County Road M, west of Highway 385
Burrowing Owl (4/20) along Baca County Road M, west of Highway 385
Common Tern (4/21) at Jumbo Reservoir
Bonaparte's Gull (4/21) at Jumbo Reservoir
Harris's Sparrow (4/21) at DePoorter Lake
Black-throated Blue Warbler (4/21) at DePoorter Lake
Boreal Owl (4/23) on Cameron Pass
White-winged Crossbill (4/25) at Rabbit Ears Pass
Black Phoebe (4/25) at Arkansas Riverwalk

Monday, April 16, 2007

Recent Grouse Tours

April 15, 2007

The CoBus trip today included Jeff Palmer, Jeanne Dubi, and Tina Mossberger, and me. What a great day weather-wise! Temperatures reached 71 degrees; winds however got quite strong in the afternoon.

Our first stop was Mt Falcon Park (Jefferson). A Wild Turkey was calling at the upper parking area at 6:30am. The usual suspects (3 species of nuthatches, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pine Siskin, Red Crossbill, and Townsend's Solitaire) were all observed.

A Dusky Grouse was found along the Old Castle Trail. He was on the rocks behind the bench about 0.3 miles east of the old castle.

Next we tried for White-tailed Ptarmigan at Loveland Pass (Clear Creek). A White-tailed Ptarmigan was heard on the hill south of Highway 9 and 300 yards north of the summit parking area. We were never able to put a scope on it.

Our next stop was Genesee Mountain Park (Jefferson). The park was noisy with bird songs and calls. Many Red Crossbills were found getting a drink at a puddle near the group picnic area. Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Western Bluebirds, Pine Siskins, and American Robins also visited the pool.

A male Williamson's Sapsucker visited a nearby tree that appeared to be a favorite of his. He returned to it half a dozen times during our stay. A second male Williamson's Sapsucker and a male Hairy Woodpecker also seemed to challenge him for the tree.

We later hiked to the top of the park. Here we again found a male Williamson's Sapsucker fending off a male Hairy Woodpecker and a second Williamson's Sapsucker. Unfortunately, no female Williamson's Sapsuckers could be found yet.

Our final stop was Cherry Creek Reservoir (Arapahoe). A small flock of gulls fed below the dam (halfway between the dam’s tower and the southwest marina). We did not see the 1st winter Thayer's Gull.

Near sunset, I drove the DIA Owl Loop. Seven Burrowing Owls were observed at 3.4 miles east of Tower Road & 96th avenue.

April 14, 2007

At first light, 7 Greater Prairie-Chickens were dancing on the CR 45 Lek.

After the show, we headed toward Pawnee National Grasslands in search of Mountain Plover and Longspurs. A Mountain Plover was found at CR 51 and CR 90 (east of the house there). The bird eventually flew toward CR 51 and Hwy 14. At that intersection, we observed an additional 3 Mountain Plovers. Another Mountain Plover was found southwest of the Dyers Ranch Driveway (0.7 miles east of Hwy 14 & CR 51).

McCown's Longspurs were found along the dirt track road that runs north from Weld County Road 94 & CR 63. We had to drive to Hwy 85 and CR 114 before finding Chestnut-collared Longspurs. Five or six Chestnut-collared Longspurs were observed while we hiked toward the windmill in the southeast corner of that intersection.

Our next stop was Loloff Reservoir. Here we added Blue-winged Teal, Baird's Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, and Greater Yellowlegs to our trip list.

A Long-billed Curlew was found at the wetlands along CR 48, south of Lower Latham Reservoir. A Ross's Goose was also observed here.

Our final stop of the day was Beebe Draw Ponds. Seven Long-billed Dowitchers wandered around the southern end of the eastern pond.

April 13, 2007

At first light we watched 20 Gunnison Sage-Grouse at the Waunita Hot Springs Lek east of Gunnison. It was snowing lightly during our visit.

Snow increased as we continued east over Monarch Pass. Several Great-tailed Grackles were observed at Sands Lake Wildlife Area.

A stop at Tunnel Drive in Canon City (Fremont) was quite interesting. We found the Golden-crowned Sparrow near the gate at the parking area. The sparrow wandered along the railroad tracks to the south. A Canyon Towhee and Rufous-crowned Sparrow also followed the loose flock which included White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. The snow had continued throughout the day.

We continued East toward Pueblo and Lamar. Scaled Quail were observed along the Swallows Road; however we were not able to locate any Loggerhead Shrikes.

A quick stop at Lake Cheraw (Otero) found 2 Snowy Plover, a Black-necked Stilt, and several American Avocets. Upper Queens Reservoir had 6 inches of snow and zero visibility.

We drove from Lamar to Burlington in a small blizzard in the late afternoon; quite happy to get to Burlington before the roads were closed. Our plans to travel to Springfield to look at the Lesser Prairie-Chickens had been cancelled when the road from Lamar to Springfield was closed.

April 10-12, 2007

Jeff Palmer, Jeanne Dubi, Tina Mossberger, and I started a six day grouse trip around the state. By Sunday we traveled 2081 miles, all within Colorado.

April 10

Snowing was coming down quite heavy when we started our trip. Loveland Pass was closed. We stopped at Silver Plume and were rewarded (snowing quite hard) with sightings of about 50 Rosy Finches (25 Gray-crowned Rosy Finches, 24 Brown-capped Rosy Finches, and 1 Black Rosy Finch).

We drove over to a friend’s house and observed another dozen Gray-crowned and half a dozen Brown-capped. A flock of 48+ Evening Grosbeaks visited his feeders as well as Pine Siskin, Mountain Chickadee, 3 species of nuthatches, 2 Gray Jays, and a Clark's Nutcracker.

The drive to Kremmling was done with great care as snow continued to fall. Two Gray-crowned and two Brown-capped Rosy Finches were all the visited the Grand & 9th street feeders during our stay.

We detoured over to Windy Gap where 20+ Barrow's Goldeneyes were still found. A few Common Goldeneyes, Lesser Scaup, and two dozen California Gulls were also observed.

On the drive by Arapahoe National Wildlife Refuge were found our first Rough-legged Hawk of the trip. Again we could not locate the previously reported Gyrfalcon.

Our birding day ended at along CR 26 which goes by the now private Coalmont Lek. We observed 12 Greater Sage-Grouse before a tremendous wind and snow storm reduced visibility to zero. After about half an hour, we were able to limp into Hayden for the night.

April 11

At first light, we sat at the 20 road Sharp-tailed Grouse Lek outside Hayden. Eventually 17 Sharp-tailed Grouse were counted. Temperatures were around 18 degrees. Afterwards we rushed over to the 80 route leks. Only 3 Sharp-tailed Grouse (no Greater Sage-Grouse) were found today.

We missed Chukars at Cameo and continued to the top of the Grand Mesa (Mesa County) still in daylight (usually I wait until dark, but thought to try something different).

At the Visitor’s Center we found the bird of the day. A male Northern Goshawk circled low over our heads for at least 5 minutes! Several flocks of Red Crossbills were also watched.

With plenty of daylight, we drove down the south side of the Grand Mesa and traveled over to Fruitgrower's Reservoir (Delta). It was a good choice as we found a Common Loon in breeding plumage! A large flock of Yellow-headed Blackbirds were in the northeast cattails. A drive down the western side of the reservoir added 2 Lewis's Woodpeckers to our trip list.

Finally at dark we started back up the Grand Mesa. We were not able to relocate the Boreal Owls and Northern Pygmy-Owl found last week. A Northern Saw-whet Owl called from the Spruce Creek Campgrounds. Eventually it flew over our heads several times!

April 12

It was raining quite hard when we got up at 6:00am. A walk around the old sewage pond at the northern entrance of the Colorado National Monument (Mesa) did not find any birds (zero). Birds were scarce at the Visitor’s Center and campgrounds also. A Black-throated Sparrow and one Gambel's Quail were all that we found at the southern entrance.

Escalante Canyon (Delta) was more productive. We found 8 Chukars at between 4.5 and 7.0 miles into the canyon. We did not locate the previously reported Black Phoebes.

A stop at Confluence Park in Delta found the 3 Ross's Geese continuing. No owls could be conjured up.

Our birding day ended at Black Canyon Gunnison National Park. A Clark's Nutcracker was observed flying up the Gunnison River at the campgrounds.

We hiked the trail for 0.4 miles west of the western end of the south rim.

Near dusk we found 3-4 Dusky Grouse and 3 Northern Pygmy-Owls!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Grouse Trip

April 9, 2007

First light found us at the Gunnison Sage-Grouse Waunita Hot Springs Lek (we arrived an hour earlier and waited in the dark). Eleven Gunnison Sage-Grouse (all males) were observed. Nine of them departed the lek fairly early. Only two lingered to 7:30am. A ranger relayed to us that the day before, he watched two Golden Eagles take 5 of the birds. Guessed that it had made the rest of them rather skittish.

A detour to Crested Butte found Linda Powers leaving for work. She said that only one Rosy Finch had been seen in the past week. We stayed anyway and were rewarded with the appearance of 2 Gray-crowned Rosy Finches and 2 Brown-capped Rosy Finches. No Black, but considering that no Rosy Finches were expected; we considered ourselves fortunate.

In Canon City (Fremont) we hiked the Arkansas River east from Sells Pond in search of the previously reported Black Phoebes and Carolina Wren; without success.

Finding 2 Curve-billed Thrashers feeding 3 young in a nest made up for our lack of finding the phoebes and wren.

We drove south of Beaver Creek Wildlife Area and Brush Hollow Wildlife Area in search of Greater Roadrunners and Scaled Quail; again without success. That ended our birding day.

April 8, 2007

We were up at 5:00am and headed to the Colorado National Monument. Unfortunately it rained most of the morning. We did find 3 Gambel's Quail near the southern entrance to the monument. Three or four Black-throated Sparrows briefly flew to the top of bushes near the entrance and sang away in the rain.

At the old sewage pond at the northern entrance, we saw a Chukar calling from the top of the rocks at the east side. With much effort, we managed to see one of the half dozen Bewick's Wrens that called. It was tough to get binoculars on them as they stayed in the firs and out of the rain. Rock Wrens, Canyon Wrens, another Gambel's Quail, and Pine Siskins were found here.

Our next stop was the Campgrounds and Visitor's Center. Many Juniper Titmice and a flock of Bushtits were observed at the campgrounds. A flock of Pinyon Jays were first discovered at below the overlook east of the Center. They later flew into the campgrounds and gave us better looks. No warblers or flycatchers were around yet.

We stopped at Confluence Park to search for the Northern Pygmy-Owl and Western Screech-Owls previously reported; without success. We did find the 3 Ross's Geese and 4+ Great-tailed Grackles.

We headed down to the Uncompahgre Plateau to search for a previously seen Northern Saw-whet Owl; without success today. We drove as far as the locked gate. Here a Vesper Sparrow and Downy Woodpecker were found. Two Western Bluebirds were also on the Plateau.

The final destination of the day was the Black Canyon Gunnison National Park. A hike 500 yards past the western end of the south rim did not locate the Northern Pygmy-Owl observed last year.

After sunset, Dusky Grouse came out of the woods and displayed on the road!

April 7, 2007

Adrian and Kathy Haywood and I continue our grouse tour. This morning we
visited the 20 road Sharp tailed Grouse Lek near Hayden (Routt). We found
15 STGR and 2 Greater Sage Grouse at the Hayden Lek.

Then we drove over to the 80 Route Lek. Here we found 16 STGR and 1+ Greater Sage Grouse. Back at the "2nd cattle guard" (past location of Dusky aka Blue Grouse) we found no Blue Grouse. However we did find a Northern Saw whet Owl about 100 yards south of the cattle guard.

Our next stop was Oxbow Wildlife Area. We counted over 17 Sage Thrashers and 5 Sage Sparrows near the entrance to the wildlife area!

At Cameo (Mesa) we found a Chukar singing from the cliffs west of the first iron gate. Unfortunately, we did not find any Black-throated Sparrows today.

We headed up to the Grand Mesa just before dark. On the Mesa we found 2 Boreal Owls and a Northern Pygmy-Owl. We returned to our motel super exhausted.

April 6, 2007

Adrian and Kate Hayward and I started out on a Grouse Tour. Although snow
was predicted, the day turned out to be a striking one.

I was hopeful for a little snow to encourage Rosy Finches to move down from
their higher haunts. Our search for Rosy Finches in Clear Creek and Summit
Counties was not successful on this clear, beautiful day. We did discover a
flock of 48+ Evening Grosbeaks, and also 3 male Pine Grosbeaks, Mountain
Chickadees, Hairy Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches,
Pygmy Nuthatches, and Pine Siskins.

Highlights of the morning included 2 Clark's Nutcrackers, 3 gray Jays, and
my first Band-tailed Pigeon of the year.

I called the Georgetown sheriff's office just to find that Guanella Pass is
still closed due to our abundant snowfall this year. The alternative was
Loveland Pass (Clear Creek) and off we went. A hike about 300 yards west of
the parking area was not successful. Winds were incredibly strong. In
spite of that, Adrian was able to set up his scope behind the Loveland Pass
sign on the west side of the highway 9. Congrats, to Adrian who quickly
found a White tailed Ptarmigan! A second bird was observed not far from the

To search for the Ptarmigan, scope the large rock cropping south-southeast
of the parking area. The Ptarmigan were eating among the willows just below
the most southern medium-sized triangular rock.

We rummage around for Rosy Finches for another hour, without success and
continued our trek.

The pair of Osprey has returned to their nest along highway 9 (about 2.5
miles south of I70). The only waterfowl on the Blue River Water Treatment
Plant where 4 mallards and a male Green winged Teal.

We continued north on highway 9 to Kremmling (Grand). Carefully watching
the Blue River on the drive, several American Dippers were found jumping
into the icy cold stream in search of food.

Green Mountain Reservoir's water level was quite low. Few birds were in the
swallow ponds formed by the melting ice. We missed seeing a Golden Eagle on
the drive today, several Red tailed Hawks and American Kestrels were out

The feeders at Grand Avenue and 9th Street were watched for about an hour
while we ate lunch. The only birds that visited were American Robins and
Red winged Blackbirds. We found no Rosy Finches.

I suggested that we try the snow banks west of town so we drove up Grand
County Road 14. We were stopped by snow at about 5.0 miles from hwy 40.
Tried of sitting, we hiked back down CR 14 (which is bordered by a creek,
fir trees, and willows). Perfect habitat for a Northern Pygmy Owl; however,
we could not locate one. Several Townsend's Solitaries and 2 Red Crossbills
were observed.

Looking for another place to bird while we waited for sunset (for a search
for Greater Sage Grouse), we decided to head east on hwy 40 toward Windy Gap
Reservoir and Granby.

Winds were quite robust at Windy Gap Reservoir (Grand). The picnic shelters
provided magnificent cover from the winds. We scoped the lake for
approximately an hour and ended up with 40+ Barrows Goldeneyes, 14 Common
Goldeneyes, Ring necked Ducks, Mallards, Gadwalls, and American Coots. A
lone American White Pelican stood on the far southwestern shore. An Eared
Grebe in alternate plumage was quite the sight.

Another surprise was the large (24+) number of California Gulls on the lake.
There were plenty of Ring billed Gulls also.

Instead of continuing east to Granby, we decided to head north on hwy 125
toward Rand. The road parallels a Pine forest where I had found American
Three toed Woodpeckers several times in the past. None were found today; we
did notice that 15-20 percent of the trees have been destroyed by the Pine
Beetle. Let's hope they find a cure for this scourge inflicting our state

North of Rand, the road leaves the forest area, we could again see for
miles. Horned Larks were encountered along the side of hwy 125. Rough
legged Hawks were quite numerous. We came upon 7 during our drive around
Jackson County. We kept our eyes open for the previously reported Gyrfalcon
while driving along the western edge of Arapahoe National Refuge. However,
a sighting was not to be. Many Pronghorn, Mule Deer, and 17 Elk were

It was still about 3 hours before sunset when we reached Rand. So we
continued to Walden Reservoir (Jackson). Many Mallards and a few Green
winged Teal were counted here. Our Killdeer of the trip was also added to
the trip list. The few gulls observed turned out to be Ring billed Gulls.

Delaney Butte Reservoir was devoid of birds. The small lake west of the
reservoir was loaded with waterfowl. Here we found a pair of Canvasbacks, 2
Redheads, and the usual ducks found earlier in the day. The Butte to the
north was scoped for Greater Sage Grouse; without success. We could no
relocate the Sage Thrasher that was found two days ago by David Tannahill
and me.

We returned to hwy 14 by way of CR 9, trying to keep in sagebrush country
and give ourselves further opportunities for a Greater Sage Grouse sighting.

We scoped the Coalmont Lek from County Road 26 (the lek is now under private
ownership and $60 dollar fines are being issued for those who trespass). A
few Greater Sage Grouse can be found by this technique. Do not expect great
views as the birds are rather far in the distance.

We wanders around Jackson County and found several male Greater Sage Grouse
foraging among the Sagebrush. A plan emerged to watch these males and see
if they would go to a lek after sunset.

Brilliant idea! After Sunset, these two birds walked down the road and
started to display at a small clearing (short grassy) area. Eventually 19
males joined in the exhibition.

We headed to Hayden after dark, quite satisfied with our terrific birding

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Search for Iceland Gull and Drive Around Pawnee National Grasslands

April 4, 2007

Bill Cryder and I went looking for the previously reported Iceland Gull(s). We had no luck at the Larimer County Landfill (Larimer County) or Black Hollow Reservoir (Weld). There were plenty of gulls; however we could not pick out an Iceland Gull among them.

We gave up on that quest and headed to Pawnee National Grasslands (Weld). Fortune shined on us today as we found a Mountain Plover in just minutes. It walked the ridge southeast of Hwy 14 & County Road 51.

We drove toward CR 51 & CR 90 (another great location for Mountain Plovers, in the past anyway). None were seen today, however we did find a Sage Thrasher just south of CR 90.

We drove my favorite Mountain Plover Loop (see CoBus website). No additional Mountain Plover could be found. McCown's Longspurs were everywhere. Finding a Chestnut-collared Longspur was a problem. After trying the Plover loop and CR 96 (near Murphy’s Pasture) we decided to drive up to CR 114 & Hwy 85.

Two Chestnut-collared Longspurs were found as we hiked toward the windmill to the southeast. I rarely have to walk all the way to the windmill before finding Chestnut-collared Longspurs. This appears to be one of their favorite nesting locations. Today we only had to hike about 300 yards.

From here, we decided to try for a Short-eared Owl that I have found along the dry creek about a mile north and west of the USDA Experimental Research Office along CR 37. The area is sometimes good for Common Redpolls and Snow Buntings (probably too late in the season for both).

We struck out on the Short-eared Owl (hike 1 mile west from 1 mile north of USDA office), then south along the creek for 0.4 miles. We did find a Great Horned Owl (hike north for 0.3 miles once you reach the dry creek).

The thought was that it was too early for a variety of shorebirds so we skipped Lower Latham Reservoir and Loloff Reservoir and returned to Denver.

April 3, 2007


David Tanahill and I ventured into the mountains today. His goal was to see a DUSKY GROUSE now that they had been split from the Blue Grouse.

At first light we parked at Mt. Falcon Park (Jefferson County). Pygmy and White-breasted Nuthatches sang voraciously searching for a mate.

Eight male Red Crossbills also sang from the tops of evergreens as several females ate pine cone seeds. A Turkey Vulture circled overhead. Several dozen Mountain Bluebirds also sang and fluttered about the pines. They had to be going after insects, not the pine cone seeds.

We circled the old castle where I had found a Dusky Grouse last month. None there, so we continued on the trail/road to the east. About 50 yards east of the castle our target was found. A male Dusky Grouse stood on a small snow pile looking around. He carefully looked in all directions for an elusive female. It appeared that he was ignoring us; we had gotten really close before spotting him.

We backed off and returned to the car. Additional Mountain Bluebirds and Red Crossbills were observed. At the parking area, three Townsend's Solitaires called that soft high pitched whistled

“eek”. It can be quite irritating when continued for hours (which I have experienced). In moderation though, it is a welcomed sound. One of the Townsend's Solitaires started singing his loud melodious song that is quite beautiful. As we started to leave, a Brown Creeper flew out of the woods and over our heads.

Our next stop was the Dillon area. We managed to find feeders where many Evening Grosbeaks, Mountain Chickadees, Pine Siskins, two Gray Jays, and a Clark's Nutcrackers were frantically feeding. The landowner thought that the several dozen Evening Grosbeaks were keeping other birds (including Rosy Finches) away from the feeders.

We checked the Blue River Water Treatment Plant (Summit). There were no Barrow's Goldeneyes today. Several Mallards and a pair of Green-winged Teal were all that was there.

The pair of Ospreys was back on their nest (along hwy 9, just south of the water treatment plant).

Heading north, we noticed that Wolford Mountain Recreation Area was completely covered with ice.

We sat at the feeders at 9th and Grand in Kremmling for about an hour. Unfortunately, not one bird came by.

Continuing north, we head several hours to kill and detoured over to Stagecoach Reservoir State Park. Only the edges of the lake were free of ice. Few birds were around.

Backtracking, we drove east on Highway 14 toward Walden. Along the way to the Coalmont Greater Sage-Grouse Lek we found 4 Golden Eagles and 1 Rough-legged Hawk. In my experience, every summer at least one Rough-legged Hawk remains in the area. Quite a few Red-tailed Hawks were around also (I loss count at 17).

We still had 2 hours before sunset and continued to Walden Reservoir. Walden Reservoir had few birds so we drove over to Delaney Butte Wildlife Area. The lake only had a pair of Common Mergansers.

We drove on the road going west along the south side of Delaney Butte and found another lake. This lake was much more productive; it included a male Canvasback, 2 pairs of Redheads, American Coot, Mallard, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Ring-necked Duck, and 1 Lesser Scaup.

After sunset, we scoped the old Coalmont Lek from Jackson County Road 26. The lek is now on private property and a ranger told us that $60 fines were issued for anyone trespassing on the property. If one does not want close looks at the Greater Sage-Grouse, you can see grouse from CR 26. We counted at least a dozen.

We hurried over to another private lek. It was getting quite dark, and we found no additional Greater Sage-Grouse.

Our next stop was Cameron Pass (Jackson & Larimer). We stopped at several locations searching for Boreal Owls; without success. Conditions were fabulous as there was little wind and a full moon. In spite of having some of the best condition I had experienced up there, we could not locate any Boreal Owls.

Our plan was to drive up to Pennock Pass after dark and look for Flammulated Owls. We drove the 12 miles south of hwy 14 to Pennock Pass just to find a locked gate. Pennock Pass was covered in 8 to 10 inches of snow. It appears that the road will be closed for at least several additional weeks.

We headed back to Denver.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Rocky Mountain Arsenal

April 2, 2007

Spent most of the day doing chores, however did get out in the beautiful weather. We rode 8 miles along the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (56th avenue to 88th and back). Owl count was 5 along there. We added another 5 along the DIA Owl Loop.

Just went for a bike ride (2:00am). Heard some birds flying overhead; sounded like sparrows. Full moon lights up the ground; no flashlight needed.

I checked a private ranch near Barr Lake and found a Barn Owl. Another place had two calling Great Horned Owls. No wind; beautiful night outside!

April 1, 2007

Rebecca Kosten and I searched for about 3 hours for the “black and white crow” reported a couple of days ago near 32nd avenue and Federal Blvd; without success. We covered the area well and then checked Washington Park, Ruby Hill, Pasquinel’s Landing, and a few small parks in the area.

As I figure, the escaped Pied Crow is most often found in a triangle with 7 mile sides. That is much territory to cover. I was hoping that the Pied Crow had nested with an American Crow and produced offspring. Later Sunday, I was sent pictures of the said crow. They were photos of the Pied Crow and not offspring.

Later, we drove the DIA Owl Loop; total Burrowing Owls were 7 at two locations.